Beauchief Abbey Lodge 3793 ‘Night at the Dogs’ Friday 16th August 2019
According to the Macmillan English Dictionary, if a place or an organization is going to the dogs, it is not as good as it was in the past. People often say things like “This country’s going to the dogs. Things aren’t like they were 30 years ago” or “This train service is going to the dogs. The trains are always late. The seats are uncomfortable and the fares are high”.
The origin of this expression is believed to be in ancient China where dogs, by tradition, were not permitted within the walls of cities. Consequently, stray dogs roamed the areas outside the city walls and lived off the rubbish thrown out of the city by its inhabitants.
Criminals and social outcast were often expelled from cities and were sent to live among the rubbish - and the dogs. Such people were said to have gone to the dogs, both literally in that that was where they were now to be found, and metaphorically in the sense that their lives had taken a distinct turn for the worse.
In spite of all that, on Friday evening 16th August 2019, numerous freemasons, and non-masons including family & friends both old and new spent an excellent evening at Owlerton Greyhound Stadium in Sheffield.
The weather was absolutely dreich as the scots would say, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of anyone who attended the event, and a large number of freemasons from the Province of Derbyshire attended together with their family, friends, and guests from;
Beauchief Abbey Lodge No. 3793
Chantrey Lodge No. 2355
Corinthian Lodge No. 5528 (Province of Nottinghamshire)
Dore Masonic Hall Co. Ltd.
Dronfield Lodge No. 9570
St. Phillips Lodge No. 7116 (Province of Yorkshire West Riding)
Enjoying extensive views of the greyhound track from our very own VIP Executive Suite, which seats a maximum of 65, and with access to a large private balcony, everyone enjoyed a delicious hot and cold buffet, together with a very pleasant, efficient and effective at seat waited service. An extremely convivial evening was enjoyed by all.
Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Indeed one of Shaun Meakin’s guests had a lucky night, as he not only won the £20.00 spot cash prize; he also won one of the top raffle prizes too. Judging by the size of the grin on his face, he seemed to be a very happy chappy. The Charity Steward’s daughter drew out one of her own raffle tickets for the final prize of the evening, but the rumour about one of our senior masons placing a modest bet on the hare in race 9 is untrue. Good job too, it came in second!
Our top tipster, who clearly has access to the most up to date knowledge, insight and analysis available was our very own Jim Arthur the lodge Tyler. He very ably advised one or two of our less experienced punters, which meant that a few of the members lost less money than we otherwise would!
The evening’s race card comprised 14 Races; the first at 19.25hrs, the last at 22.40hrs.
The penultimate race, and certainly the most poignant of the evening was Race No. 13. Entitled ‘The Beauchief Abbey Lodge James Hamilton Memorial Race’, it was sponsored by the Lodge in memory of James Hamilton, who sadly passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly three years ago at the age of 20.
The son of Nev & Janice Hamilton, James was very passionate about mental health issues, who before his death, was studying young people’s mental health with a view to working in this area and helping some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.
Nev Hamilton, the Immediate Past Master of Beauchief Abbey Lodge, remains a passionate advocate and continues to support his son’s legacy. Both the lodge & the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire have, over the past few years, made charitable donations to support the work of Derbyshire Mind.
Proud mum and dad pictured presenting the race winning dog ‘Got Ya’ and its owner with their trophy for Race 13, The Beauchief Abbey Lodge James Hamilton Memorial Race.
Beauchief Abbey Lodge has, over the past few years, also made charitable donations in support of;
Woodland View, a local residential Dementia Care Home.
Ms Katie Toft, a local 5 time para-cycling World Champion, who is aiming to complete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Teddies for Loving Care, who supply cuddly toys to Hospital A&E Units for children in distress
NGS Macmillan Unit Chesterfield, who provide much needed treatment and support from a number of cancer specialists to outpatients across the local area
The lodge is also currently working with the Commanding Officer of The Chesterfield Sea Cadets, Nik Undy and his team, looking at ways to help them buy a much needed minibus, so that they can continue to provide excellent learning and development opportunities to their Sea & Marine Cadets, who’s’ ages range from 10-18 years. Indeed our Worshipful Master Chris Fry’s great Grandfather was previously the Commanding Officer of the same unit, which demonstrates a truly remarkable link down through the ages.
Our ‘Night at the Dogs’ was held to help raise much needed support to local charities as outlined above, and on the night the Lodge made the tremendous sum of £850.00, every single penny of which, will continue to be used to support local charities in the future.
One of the highlights of the evening in addition to the raffle, and the human bingo, was undoubtedly a pair of signed football boots (size 11 and a half) very generously donated by Gary Cahill, the former England & Chelsea Football Player, who recently signed for Crystal Palace, and who just happens to be the nephew of Nev & Janice Hamilton. These boots were auctioned off in the room, and after some vigorous bidding, were purchased for the magnificent sum of £75.00.
Looking to the future, Beauchief Abbey Lodge certainly isn’t going to the dogs as per the Macmillan English Dictionary definition, as everyone seemed to enjoy a memorable night out in Sheffield. It was fantastic to see everyone having such an enjoyable time supporting such worthy causes. Friendly, supportive, kind and sharing. It’s what Freemasonry is all about.
And finally, Beauchief Abbey Lodge will be hosting The Chesterfield Sea Cadets at our next regular Lodge Meeting, which is to be held at 7.00pm at Dore Masonic Hall on Monday 9th September 2019.
The Chesterfield Sea Cadets Commanding Officer, Nik Undy together with his Staff, and Cadets have all been invited to attend this meeting. We aim to Call off the Lodge, and then invite everyone into the temple. We then aim to have a wide ranging discussion about the history of our respective organisations, and explore the fascinating links that bind us together.
We also want to discuss and agree how best the lodge can support the Chesterfield Sea Cadets going forward, for example by way of financial &/or other practical support. As such, any and all suggestions as to how we may achieve this aim, would be very warmly received and fully considered.
Please do make every effort to attend this uniquely fascinating meeting, and confirm your attendance directly with the Lodge Secretary, Joe Royle as soon as you can;
The Summons for this meeting will be distributed in the usual manner in the very near future.
Until next time ….
With thanks to Tim Bowen for his ‘Phrase of the week: to go to the dogs’ article